, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 951–959 | Cite as

Differential heme-mediated modulation of Deinagkistrodon, Dispholidus, Protobothrops and Pseudonaja hemotoxic venom activity in human plasma

  • Vance G. NielsenEmail author
  • Nathaniel Frank


Envenomation by vipers with hemotoxic enzymes continues to be a worldwide source of morbidity and mortality. The present work examined the effects of exposure of venom enzymes to carbon monoxide and O-phenylhydroxylamine, agents that modulate the biometal heme, by forming carboxyheme and metheme, respectively. Four venoms obtained from medically important, diverse snake venom found in Africa, Asia and Australia were analyzed. The species that had venom tested in human plasma with thrombelastography and heme modulating agents were Deinagkistrodon acutus, Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Dispholidus typus and Pseudonaja textilis. These venoms varied four hundred-fold in potency (ng-µg/ml) to exert procoagulant effects on human plasma; further, there was species specific variability in venom inhibition after exposure to carboxyheme or metheme agents. Lastly, using a wide range of carbon monoxide concentrations, it was determined that the factor V component of P. textilis venom was likely inhibited before the factor X component. Further investigation using this thrombelastograph-based, venom “kinetomic” methodology involving heme modulation will demonstrate in time its laboratory and clinical utility.


Hemotoxic venom Prothrombin activator Thrombin-like activity Heme Carbon monoxide Metheme 



This investigation was supported by the Department of Anesthesiology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose except that Mr. Frank is the owner of Mtoxins.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucsonUSA
  2. 2.MtoxinsOshkoshUSA

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